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Know the West

Pigs can't fly

  Dear HCN,

In your article in the June 9 Western Roundup section, Randal O'Toole stated that he "would have each national forest operate autonomously, allowing each to sell its trees at fair-market value. Forests would not be subsidized by tax dollars but funded by their own profits. Ideally, Congress would have little to do with forest management."

Ideally, it would also be great if pigs could fly. But we all know that pigs can't fly and that management of the national forests is inherently political.

While I agree that free-market approaches to many aspects of public forest management would be beneficial, too much local "autonomy" of what are national resources can lead to the type of one-sided forest management that we have seen for far too long in areas dominated by single-resource industries.

Mike Benefield

Prineville, Oregon